Speaker Cayetano may have a point since the Constitution provides that bills of local application like franchise measures must originate from the House of Representatives.
He is wrong in equating it to the Charter change issue, though, since as practiced and for expediency, we conduct committee hearings on tax and budget measures even before the House transmits its approved version of the bill to the Senate.
What can be considered blatantly violative of the Constitution is if the Senate committee chairperson reports out on the floor for plenary debates the committee report. This is something we have not done and will never do.
Having said that, what I understand to be tackled by the Public Services Committee are not the bills in connection with the ABS-CBN franchise but a filed resolution to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the alleged violations of ABS-CBN that is being questioned by the Office of the Solicitor General before the Supreme Court via a quo warranto petition in which I have earlier expressed reservation out of courtesy to a co-equal branch that has already given due course to the said petition.
Being bicameral, without the Senate agreeing to amending the Charter via a constituent assembly, no amount of determined efforts by the House members will bring to reality new provisions of the 1987 Constitution, whether economic or political.
Ipinanukala ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagkakaroon ng “reserba” pang lider ng bansa sakaling mapahamak ang Bise Presidente, Senate President at House Speaker na batay sa Saligang Batas ay kahalili ng Pangulo kung hindi na nito kayang mamuno.
Isinampa ni Lacson ang Senate Bill 982, na tinaguriang “Designated Survivor” Bill na naglalayong hindi mabakante ang liderato ng pamahalaan at magtuloy-tuloy pa rin ang operasyon ng gobyerno sakali mang mapahamak ang mga nabanggit na opisyal.
“This bill … seeks to provide an exhaustive line/order of presidential succession in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the Acting President to ensure that the office of the President is never vacated even in exceptional circumstances,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a “designated survivor” bill to guarantee the continuity and stability of operations in government in case of a terrorist attack, major disaster or other “exceptional circumstances” where the President and those specified by the Constitution to succeed him or her are killed or permanently disabled.
Lacson said Senate Bill 982 ensures the office of the President will not be vacated even in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the Acting President.
“This bill … seeks to provide an exhaustive line/order of presidential succession in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the Acting President to ensure that the office of the President is never vacated even in exceptional circumstances,” Lacson said.
Labag sa batas ng Pilipinas ang inpormasyon o materyal na bunga ng wiretapping activities na “imported” o galing sa ibang bansa, ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson.
Ayon kay Lacson, ang naturang impormasyon ay salungat din sa pangunahing obligasyon ng Estado na protektahan ang mga Pilipino laban sa pang-aabuso at banta.
Inilatag ni Lacson, na naging pinuno ng Philippine National Police mula 1999 hanggang 2001, ang isang klarong halimbawa kung ang isang indibiduwal galing sa ibayong dagat at mahulihan ng marijuana paglapag sa paliparan sa bansa ay siguradong agad na sasampahan ng kaso ng paglabag sa mga batas ng Pilipinas laban sa ilegal na droga.
“What if someone brings into the country marijuana which he/she got or bought from a foreign country where possession and use of the same is legal? Will the person who brought in the marijuana not be violating the Dangerous Drugs Act?” tanong pa ni Lacson.
Wiretapped information from foreign sources linking Filipinos to crimes such as illegal drugs is a violation of Philippine law and the State’s policy to protect its citizens, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed.
Lacson likened the situation to a person who bought marijuana in a country where it is legal, but will be arrested for violating the Philippine Dangerous Drugs Act once he/she brings it into the Philippines.
“What if someone brings into the country marijuana which he/she got or bought from a foreign country where possession and use of the same is legal? Will the person who brought in the marijuana not be violating the Dangerous Drugs Act?” said Lacson, who headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001.
He also contested Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s reported pronouncement that if the wiretapped conversation came from a country where wiretapping is not illegal, it “may be passed on to the Philippine government and considered admissible in Philippine courts.”
Makakatulog na nang mahimbing sa gabi si Senador Panfilo Lacson kung ang pag-uusapan ay ang pagbabantay niya sa kaban ng bayan laban sa mga wala sa lugar na paggastos at paghahangad ng mga kasamahan na kumupit sa pondong ito.
Nararamdaman na kasi ng mambabatas na nagiging epektibo na ang naumpisahang krusada laban sa pag-abuso ng mga kasamahan sa pambansang gastusin ng pamahalaan dahil sa katakawan sa pork barrel.
Ayon kay Lacson, bilang isang mambabatas ay kabilang sa kanyang sinumpaang obligasyon sa publiko ay ang mahigpit na bantayan laban sa pang-aabuso ang taunang gastusin ng pamahalaan.
“If by exposing all attempts by some lawmakers to go around the Supreme Court ruling declaring pork as unconstitutional, thus stymieing the selfish interests of those elected to perform their legislative duty, I’ll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that I’ve done my share in guarding against unnecessary wastage of public funds that has prevented our country from taking off and become competitive,” pahayag ni Lacson.